Marcel Dzama “A Game of Chess” (2011) official trailer. Courtesy of David Zwirner, NY. Â© 2011 Marcel Dzama
Last weekâ€™s 2011 edition of ArtPop â€“ the visual arts wing of the annual music festival Pop Montreal â€“ showcased Marcel Dzamaâ€™s recent films â€œA Game of Chessâ€ (2011) and â€œDeath Disco Danceâ€ (2011). The former was premiered in his solo exhibition â€œBehind Every Curtainâ€ at David Zwirner Gallery in New York earlier this year. This black and white film reveals Dzamaâ€™s inspiration and nostalgia of Bauhaus, Duchamp and yet retains a strong story telling sense, in a very personal aesthetic that resonates with contemporary life. An offshoot of â€œA Game of Chessâ€, the four-minutes colour film â€œDeath Disco Danceâ€ is more spontaneous and upbeat, and found a world premier at ArtPop. M-KOS interviewed Dzama during his Montreal pop-over.
M-KOS: Is this your first time back in Montreal since your retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal in 2010?
Marcel Dzama: Yes. This is the first time since then. It is very nice to be here in fall instead of winter.
MK: Yes, less snowâ€¦
Dzama: Well, itâ€™s beautiful in winter as well but itâ€™s much nicer now.
MK: You are here for POP Festival?
Dzama: Yes. Iâ€™m showing two films â€“ one is a short film called “Death Disco Dance”, almost like a little music video or an art film, with a Post punk soundtrack which I played with the special guest band with a live sound system.
The other one is called â€œA Game of Chessâ€. Itâ€™s a 15 minutes film that was shot in Guadalajara, in Mexico. I had a friend who had a ceramic foundry there. I was making ceramic sculptures. Originally I had the idea of shooting film at my studio in New York but my friend at the foundry said â€œshoot it here, I have all the connections of people here!â€. So I had the ballet company of Guadalajara perform in the film and I made these papier machÃ© costumes there which was a lot of fun to be in Mexico instead of being in my studio making them. And a lot of people were helping me as well in making them.